Seven Chevy Drivers to Start in Top-10 of All-Star Challenge Concord, NC - Seven Team Chevy drivers put their Monte Carlo SS machines in the top-10 for the start of the first segment of the NASCAR Nextel Challenge tomorrow night at Lowe's Motor...
Seven Chevy Drivers to Start in Top-10 of All-Star Challenge
Concord, NC - Seven Team Chevy drivers put their Monte Carlo SS machines in the top-10 for the start of the first segment of the NASCAR Nextel Challenge tomorrow night at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/Power of Pride Monte Carlo SS, will start second in the first 20-lap run of the $1 million dollar race tomorrow night.
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Pennzoil Platinum Monte Carlo SS, will roll off fourth with his Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Monte Carlo SS starting in the fifth spot.
Kyle Busch, No. 5 CARQUEST/IKellogg's Monte Carlo SS, will start sixth followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Performance Alliance Monte Carlo SS.
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Monte Carlo SS, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS, will start ninth and 10th respectively.
Mark Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS, spun during his qualifying effort and will start in the 18th position, in front of the drivers who transfer from the Nextel Open and the driver voted in by the fans.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT PERFORMANCE ALLIANCE MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFDIED SEVENTH:
"We had a few little glitches but the car felt solid on the race track. We are excited to have this DuPont Performance Alliance Chevrolet here this weekend. I am real happy. I felt like that was a solid run. We didn't want to make any mistakes. When you do that you are going to give up a little bit. Some guys are going to get real aggressive and try and beat us. The car felt great. I got on pit road good, down pit road good, got into the stall good. Steve Latarte said they had a little of a bobble on the pit stops, but that is going to happen sometimes. All in all, a really solid effort and should get us a good starting spot."
ON DOING BURNOUT PRIOR TO HEADING OUT ON TRACK TO WARM UP THE TIRES: "These tires are just rock hard and it is so hard to get any heat in them and any grip, look at all the guys who spun out during Open qualifying it is just the tires. They are just really hard to get a hold of in a short period of time. I just try to get as much heat in them as I possibly can."
ON HAVING CREW PERFORMANCE AFFECT STARTING POSITION: "It is just a total team effort. The car felt great on the race track so you have to give the team credit for giving me a great race car.
ON ENJOYING THIS RACE WITHOUT POINTS ON THE LINE: "To me, this qualifying is a little bit uncharacteristic of what the All-Star event is all about because if you get too aggressive in that effort, you are going to be starting in the back. To me it is about the guys that push the limit without going over and that is hard to do. We are right up there. This is a great event. It is a lot of fun not having to worry about points. I am excited. It is going to be a great night tomorrow night."
ON PENALTY LEVIED ON THE NO. 8 CAR: "They (NASCAR) issued a bulletin before the new car races started that said if any tampering is done to the certified parts, it was going to be a minimum of $100,000 and 100 points. So what happened was right on par with what they said."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 CARQUEST/KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED SIXTH:
"The crew guys are what makes this week happen, not only the pit stop competition, but also being able to have a good pit stop here during qualifying to get us a starting position for the All Star Challenge with no penalties so it was a good effort for our CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet Team. It was a conservative run for me on the race track for me. We don't just need to tear up any more race cars or bruise myself any more. We will take that and go on to the race. Hopefully it will get us a decent starting spot. It is a blast to race the All-Star. It is kind of like your local short track, just running four heat races or something like that. The best part about it now is the new inversion part. Last year we won the first segment and got inverted back to eighth or tenth and got caught up in that crash off turn two. You can't have that kind of stuff. It was actually a pretty good race. If we had finished that race, we were going to bring that car back for the4 Coke 600. We will have to see how this weekend goes but we are optimistic about it."
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED FIFTH:
"It is just amazing to me how close the qualifying is. You think about going around a 1.5 mile race track three times, down pit road, having a pit stop and there is less than a tenth of a second between the top-three cars. That is pretty amazing. Real proud of my guys, they had a great stop, the car drove well. As close as it is, the later you go out is going to be a big advantage. I didn't think it would be, because typically there are penalties and stuff but I don't think anyone has been penalized tonight. Looks a little different than it normally does, but it was a good effort for us. We will take that."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S/POWER OF PRIDE MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED SECOND:
"Great effort for this Lowe's team, I know the guys performed up to their All Star talent. I joke with them, but when the engines are running these guys are on their game and they do a fantastic job. They did a great job the other night in the Pit Crew Challenge. Great pit stop tonight. I did what I could to turn a great lap time. I think we are off to a good start and I know we will be good tomorrow night. The car was just a little too loose to lay down a really awesome lap but it was a competitive lap.
"This team does a better job of racing than it does qualifying so when it comes to racing tomorrow night, if we qualified well, we will be in great shape come race time."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATIUM MONTE CARLO SS, QUALIFIED FOURTH:
'It was a good effort. We got one hurdle out of the way. We got one of our guys hurt in the Pit Crew Competition but we had a good stop tonight. All in all, it was a good run. I got in to one the first lap just a little too deep but got on pit road good, just a little wheel spin up off. We could have done a lot of little things better, but we didn't make any big mistakes. As short as the segments are tomorrow night, I think it is important to probably start as close to the front as possible. "
-credit: gm racing